David Dodge, EFCL District B

David Dodge EFCL Past President and past district rep for Lago Lindo, Kilkenny, McLeod, Evansdale, Northmount, Londonderry, Steele Heights, Balwin, Killarney, Delwood, Glengarry, Rosslyn, Belvedere community leagues in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Photo by Rob Agostinis

Monday, May 13, 2013

EFCL May Board and Planning Committee Notes

Hi community leagues in the Londonderry District B of the EFCL (Lago Lindo, Kilkenny, McLeod, Evansdale, Northmount, Londonderry, Steele Heights, Balwin, Killarney, Delwood, Glengarry, Rosslyn, Belvedere community leagues in Edmonton)

Here is a report on both the EFCL Board Meeting and the meeting of the EFCL Planning Committee.

EFCL Looks at Adding Wind Turbine to Its Renewable Energy Arsenal
The EFCL board of directors has decided to investigate the possibility of installing a wind turbine on the roof of its office building (7103-105 Street).  The board made the decision after reviewing an energy audit that suggested a turbine could be an effective way to reduce the federation’s energy bills and carbon footprint.
According to audit, a wind turbine would cost approximately $29,700 to install and would produce approximately $1,110 in electricity each year, at today’s prices.  This equates to a annual saving of 4.8 tonnes of cardon dioxide (greenhouse gas) if this electricity was produced by traditional methods (coal and natural gas).
The federation will investigate potential cost sharing opportunities, including the Taking Action to Manage Energy (TAME) program offered by the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre.
The board’s decision comes only days after the federation successfully installed a 1.2 kw, five panel solar energy system on the roof of its office building.  Development of the solar energy system, which comes complete with an energy production display monitor in the lobby of the office building, was done as part of the federation’s solar and energy conservation program.  This program saw the completion of energy audits and installation of solar energy systems at seven community league halls (Ritchie, Riverdale, Rossdale, Meadowlark, Alberta Avenue, West Jasper/Sherwood and North Glenora) this spring.

Final Tripartite License Agreement Signed
The EFCL is pleased to report that all of the community leagues with land have now signed a tripartite license agreement.
The last signatory, Glengarry Community League, put pen to paper in a private meeting with EFCL president David Dodge last week.  A key precondition for Glengarry was the development of an addendum that outlines the steps the EFCL will take if it is ever needs to assume control of the league’s facilities, as outlined in the terms of the license agreement.  This addendum is now attached to the document signed by Glengarry, the EFCL and City of Edmonton.
Completion of the new agreement is a major milestone for all parties.  It provides clarity on how the land the city provides to each league is to be used and how disputes are to be resolved.  It also clarifies the supporting role that will be played by the EFCL.
Negotation of this agreement was also accompanied by the creation of a significant city grant program to help leagues build and repair their facilities.  Called the Community League Infrastructure Grant Program (CLIP), it makes $3 million available each year for everything from painting a room to building a new hall.

Edmonton Northlands Wants to Connect With Community Leagues
The EFCL is quite excited about a partnership opportunity that is starting to take shape with Edmonton Northlands.
Northlands would like to see greater community involvement in its operations, notably the annual K-Days Parade and K-Days Exposition during the summer.  They would love to see leagues sponsor one or more parade entries and are exploring the idea of a community night at the fair grounds, when league members could get in for a reduced rate and community leagues could jointly operate an exhibit or game (like our football toss) as a way to raise our profile and earn some money for the leagues.
Both of these ideas seemed to have good potential, particularly if the EFCL and Northlands were able to help facilitate the development of parade entries and a booth at the fair, to make it easy for leagues to participate.
Edmonton Northlands has been invited to make a presentation on this topic at the May 29 Annual General Meeting of the EFCL.  It is our intention to invite league reps to sit on a committee to flesh out ideas and opportunities for 2014.
If this partnership is put into place, Northlands would become one of the EFCL’s corporate sponsors and would be identified in our advertising and at all of our events.

Parking and School Construction on the Agenda:
EFCL to Meet with Edmonton Public School Board
The EFCL has invited the trustees and senior staff of the Edmonton Public School Board to a dinner meeting on May 15 to discuss some key issues of mutual concern.  These include the plan for new schools in growing parts of the city, retention of older schools in mature parts of the city and the provision of adequate parking and drop off areas around all schools.
The federation is keenly aware of the role a school plays in bringing people together in a community and wants to see as many new buildings constructed and older buildings maintained as possible.  It also wants to ensure community usage of all school facilites.
Recent trends among parents to drive their children to school has lead to an array of parking and drop off issues in the immediate area of the school.  In some cases this has affected the local community league, when parents utilize the league’s parking lot before and after school each day.
EFCL’s 100th  Anniversary Project Rolls Along
The EFCL continues to make good progress on its 100th Anniversary Project, which is earmarked for the southeast corner of Hawrelak Park.

On April 24, the federation took part in an open house that the City of Edmonton organized to show the public all of the changes that are planned for the park. These included the city’s plan to construct a water play feature between the playground and our project, as well as deepen one end of the main lake this summer to enable swimming during triathlon events.
Most of the visitor’s attention – and that of the media in attendance - was focused on the city’s water play project.  The city’s consultant had two concepts on display (see attached drawings).  The first drawing showed an extensive wading pool, complete with a central island, surrounded by a large sand beach area.  New washrooms would also be included.  This concept was expected to cost approximately $4.4 million and would utilize almost the entire grassy space between the playground and the east end of our project (that starts with a small pond).  Additional features not included in the budget were a spray deck ($653,000), Parking Lot Expansion ($472,000) Walkway to the Parking Lot ($197,000) and Walkway to the EFCL Project ($18,000).
City proposal Concept 1 Beach Play - the EFCL project
connects with the bottom left of the concept.
The second drawing showed a much smaller, concrete or rubber surface wading pool as well as a spray deck.  This development was pegged at $2.1 million, which represents the funds that the city already has in place for this project.  Additional features not included in the budget were Washrooms ($803,000), a Beach/Sand Area ($78,000), Parking Lot Expansion ($472,000), Walkway to the Parking Lot ($197,000) Walkway to the EFCL Project ($25,000).

City proposal Concept 2 Water Play - the EFCL project 
connects with the bottom left of the concept.

We prepared a display that showed the conceptual plan for the Community League Plaza, which will house a display on community leagues, and a walkway by the existing stream, which will connect the city’s water play feature to the main lake in Hawrelak Park.
Most of the 35 people who attended the open house were in favor of our project and appreciated the fact that we were doing something to recognize the contribution that community leagues have made to the City of Edmonton.  It was also evident that Hawrelak Park is heavily used by many groups, as some people felt it didn’t need any further development at all.
The two water play features, along with a summary of the public feedback, will be presented to city council’s community services committee on June 11.  The committee will recommend one of the concepts to City Council for approval.

In addition to this work, the federation has hired Marius Veldtman, a consultant we worked with on our infrastructure assessment program, to oversee the development of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for project management and design work on our 100th Anniversary Project.
Marius has located six Edmonton firms that are interested in submitting a proposal.  He is now preparing the bid documents and should have them ready to send out later this month.

Our anniversary committee has expressed an interest in reviewing the responses, as well as interviewing the company representatives.  Once this process has been completed, it is our intention to compare the RFP results to the city’s offer for project management services before determining the best route to follow.

In addition, the EFCL is reviewing the potential of developing a Cultural Heritage Walk on the pathway next to the stream.  The walkway would feature displays that show the contributions individuals and groups from different cultural backgrounds have made to the City of Edmonton and as such, attract visitors to this part of the park. This component has the potential to bring a number of other partners to the table, to help fund the overall project and increase its appeal to all three orders of government.

The EFCL could also use this opportunity to describe what it is doing to reach out to people from different cultural backgrounds.

EFCL Wants In On Elevate Task Force
The EFCL Board of Directors made it clear that they want to see a role for the federation in the revitalization of older neighborhoods, which is the job of a task force trying to implement recommendations contained in the city’s Elevate Report.
Board members were pleased to hear that all three levels of government, along with the local school boards, are members of the task force.  One of the primary recommendations of the report was to bring all of the key parties at the table.  The EFCL was also pleased to hear that the city has appointed a staff person, Jack Araujo, to work on this project.
The board was concerned to hear that the task force has yet to identify any projects or programs, other than to begin by comparing the capital budget plans of each organizations.

The board made it clear that they want to be involved in the development and implementation of a variety of projects and programs, including those that attract and retain families in these parts of the city.  The loss of families is a huge concern to the federation, given the substantial investment many leagues have made in local infrastructure (playgrounds, courts, halls and rinks) and the manner in which families with children help bring the community together.
Ms. Araujo, who provided a status report on the project at last week’s board meeting, said she would do what she could to ensure that the federation is represented in some fashion.

Traffic Safety Partners Discuss Speed Management Continuum
The Traffic Safety Partners committee, which includes city staff, police, school board and EFCL reps, has given its blessing to a newly-created method of analyzing and responding to neighborhood traffic concerns.  It is called the Neighbourhood Speed Management Continuum and it looks at traffic speeds, traffic shortcutting and number of collisions, along with the location of playgrounds, schools and recreation centres.

The continuum will help the city determine the most appropriate response to local speeding problems, including engineering measures and speed reduction campaigns like the 40 km hour speed limit program.

Senior-Friendly Community League Promoted
The EFCL is working with the Seniors Coordinating Council of Edmonton to determine ways in which community leagues can do a good job of reaching out and engaging seniors.
Our plan is to hold one or more workshops where representatives of leagues and various senior organizations review various initiatives that leagues could consider.  This could include having a senior’s liaison officer on the board, giving special consideration to the needs of seniors at league events and ensuring that league facilities are accessible to people with mobility issues.
Information gathered at the workshop would be tabulated and presented in newsletter articles, on websites and in the community league resource guide, to name three.  Workshop participants would also brainstorm ways to develop and promote activities that are of  interest to seniors.
Leagues interested in this initiative are encouraged to contact the EFCL’s community development officer, Shahriyar Khan.

EFCL Prepares For 2013 Annual General Meeting
Preparations are well along for the federation’s 2013 Annual General Meeting, which is set for 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 29 at Duggan Community League (3728-106 Street).  This year’s meeting will feature presentations on the federation’s Solar and Energy Conservation Program, the 100th Anniversary Project and the new bar code system on community league membership cards.  Quick updates will also be provided on Leagues Alive 2013, the Balconies in Bloom program, the Living Local Arts and Heritage Program, our Civic Engagement Review and our new partnership with Edmonton Northlands.
The federation will also be seeking new board members in the west end, as well as planning committee members in the west end and Castle Downs area.
Community league delegates are urged to contact Joanne Booth at the EFCL, particularly if they are coming for dinner, which commences at 5:30 p.m.
Vitalize Conference Looks Good This Year
A number of board and staff members at the EFCL are making plans to attend the provincial Vitalize Conference, which is set for June 13-15 at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton.  The conference is built around the following seven themes: board governance, communication, human resources, leadership, organizational development, technology and general interest.  This conference is a great opportunity for leagues to provide their volunteers with training and a chance to network.
The continuum and its use in promoting traffic safety will soon be presented to city council for its consideration.

EFCL Planning News

Light Efficient Community Policy Complete
The EFCL, along with the Light Efficient Community Coalition, played a major role in getting the city to consider developing a policy to reduce light pollution and energy consumption, while enhancing safety on city streets and city property.
EFCL Vice President David Gibbens and planning advisor Bev Zubot represented EFCL on the advisory committee throughout the policy and information document, working alongside very knowledgeable city engineers, consultants, coalition members and city department staff.  In addition to creating a progressive policy, this project forged positive working relationships and a pool of experts that we can turn to when communities raise street lighting or park lighting concerns.  

EFCL Prompts the City to Review Bylaws for Eating and Drinking Establishments.
The EFCL Planning Committee and Central Area Council encouraged Executive Committee of Council to support the Administration’s recommendation to review the relevant Zoning Bylaw and the business license bylaw.  We are hoping that the amendments will prevent the morphing of restaurants into late night bars, and will properly evaluate parking requirements.

Body Rub Centre Bylaw remains an important issue for the EFCL Planning Committee.
Our committee strongly believes that Body Rub Centres should be more than 100 m away from community halls, schools and other locations where children or vulnerable people congregate.   It plans to prepare background information and a survey that will be distributed to leagues by email and at the AGM, May 29th.   Bylaw amendments will be considered by Council on June 10th.  

EFCL Gains Insights at Building Edmonton Symposium
Hosted by the City & the Urban Development Institute, the symposium featured a number of developers and city planning staff in panel discussions, along with EFCL executive director Allan Bolstad
Mayor Mandel, who gave the opening speech, sees Council as the promoters of development.  He said it has only turned down two projects during his time on council.  He said community leagues, not Council, are the problem, when it comes to moving the city forward.  He said leagues oppose affordable housing in the inner city, oppose seniors and don’t want their complexes on surplus school sites.  He said they are also opposed to too much traffic for no good reason.
In the panel discussions, developers such as Jodie Wacko emphasized the importance of flexibility – all policy documents should be a living document so that the rules can be changed on the fly in response to customer demands.  Allan Bolstad said leagues are interested in stability – that the city should develop policies and regulations and stick to them so people know the rules and can depend on them. 
Tegan Martin-Drysdale of Redbrick Real Estate Services asked why the EFCL and its leagues were so involved in civic and planning issues.  She noted that the EFCL and its leagues do not represent everyone in the neighbourhood.  Allan acknowledged that the leagues only represent their members, but that the city often relies on them for public input.  He noted that the EFCL and its leagues have some binding agreements with the city, relative to consultation, and that leagues have been involved in civic engagement since their inception in 1917.

EFCL considers Active Role with Bike Routes
Given the level of discontent with the city’s planned bike network, the EFCL has decided to explore how it could assist in the development of welcomed, safe bike routes and bike infrastructure in neighbourhoods.   Four potential roles for EFCL have been identified through a meeting with Transportation staff and Great Neighbourhoods.  
a)     Assistance with social marketing of bike infrastructure – promoting safety, community building, benefits of cycling (predominantly a city role)
b)     Discussion of safe bike route designs at the Transportation Safety Partnership Committee meetings (EFCL staff Allan Bolstad and Shahriyar Kahn are members of this committee)
c)     A review of Public Involvement Plans for bike routes
d)    A bike route design workshop with leagues, in the fall, sponsored by the City and the EFCL. 

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